Most leaders at some time in their tenure have a need to create change in their organisations, but it's well known that the majority of transformation initiatives fail to achieve their stated objectives.
Though there are many different factors that can derail attempts to achieve change, there are four factors that make all the difference to success. The Change Equation states that A+B+C must be more than D for change to take place:
A view of a future that can be different and better
(Where are we going?)
Unhappiness with the status quo
(Why do we need to change?)
of the first practical steps that will be required to start the journey to the desired future
(How will we get there?)
The actual and perceived cost of making the change: financial, emotional, cultural
(At what price?)
IF YOU ARE LEADING CHANGE AND ARE CONCERNED THAT PROGRESS HAS STALLED, YOU CAN WORK ON ALL FOUR OF THESE FACTORS:
A. You can make the vision more compelling by describing what it will be like for individuals as well as talking about the financial impact.
B. If people seem to be happy with the status quo, some data on customer loyalty, staff morale or technical failure could help shift them away from complacency.
C. Without an understanding of the practical implications of the change, the more practically minded people may feel disconnected from the big picture. If detail isn't your thing, enlist the help of someone who revels in getting granular to lend practicality to your scheme.
D. And, finally, if the cost of this transformation seems financially prohibitive, find ways of funding, amortising and justifying the expenditure. Even more importantly, don't forget the perceived emotional cost of change and find ways to mitigate fears, especially among the change-averse.
If you doubt the validity of the Change Equation you only have to consider some recent government initiatives that have failed to fly and, referring to the model, you'll see exactly why.
Miranda Kennett is an independent coach. If you have a problem or issue you'd like her to address, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org